There are so many Natives in the building with wild and wonderful backgrounds, that this series is the perfect opportunity to look behind the curtain of some of our experts and see exactly what makes them tick. Our Anastasia Macnaghten is no different. She’s an invaluable voice in our Paid Media team, and has just become even more qualified with her recently awarded Facebook Blueprint certificate, which demonstrates her advanced-level proficiency in Facebook Advertising and our continued commitment to deliver only the best for our clients, company-wide. She’s also a brilliant example of how women can boss the STEM arena and your career path doesn't always need to go in a linear straight line to work out.
Ammie, let’s jump straight in, tell us a bit about your background… What brought you to Natives?
It’s a bit of a funny one really. I was working in recruitment, straight after university and it really wasn’t great. It wasn’t rewarding, fun or challenging… But my boyfriend was a Chef at a pub, just down the road from here actually, and I started doing a bit of advertising and promoting on behalf of him and his pub. And I quickly realised I actually enjoyed it. So when I got to the end of my tether with recruitment, I thought advertising might be an avenue worth considering and I applied for a role here on the off chance - and I got it…
So did you have any idea what you wanted to do at university?
No, not really, I did my undergrad and masters in Neuroscience which I loved and thought that’s what I’d want to go into, but it was very intense. And I loved the people side of the industry, however, I ended up in a lab. With no work-life balance, no windows and sometimes completely on my own for eight hours a day. I don’t like podcasts, but at one point I had to start listening to them, just so I could hear another human voice!
But I really do think you need to have these experiences to show you what you want, and equally as important, what you don't want out of life. And that’s what I love the most about my job now. The collaboration and support you get from your team, other departments and individuals is amazing.
Congrats on recently passing your Blueprint Facebook exam, what does it mean to you?
It's great. It was hard and I am definitely not used to the revision anymore - it reminded me of when I was back in uni. But it’s really rewarding and I’m really happy to have passed as my team really backed me on getting this qualification, so I didn’t want to let anyone down.
What would you say to younger girls looking to get into STEM fields?
I think, firstly it’d be: don’t be intimidated to do so. It can be overwhelming and it’s intense but it's definitely possible and us women have every place and right to do it. For me, when first starting out, I worried that because I’m not very strong at maths that I’d struggle. However, if you work hard, you can always circumnavigate around the areas that aren’t your strengths and you’ll find ways to succeed.
Oh, and it’s cool to be a woman in the STEM field!
Could you tell us what a typical day at Natives looks like for you?
That’s a tough one. There a lot of variety each day - which I like. I manage an apprentice, Tom, so it’s important to support him, make sure he’s happy with his tasks and that he’s busy. Also, a large part of my role is working with other departments like the planning team or client services to work out strategies for the different clients and their advertising plans. That means discussing what their goals are, being really hands-on, making sure the tactics work, how to optimise them and troubleshoot them when they're not doing what they’re supposed to. I really like the strategy part.
How would you describe the office life in Natives HQ?
I love it. It’s a great working environment. And it’s nice working with people your own age, as my last few jobs, the seniors and team leads were always intimidating older men. It's really not the case here at Natives. It’s much more collaborative and supportive. And if things do get a bit stressful, or if you’re having a bad day, there’s always a team of people to pick you up. It’s a huge contrast to my science lab days, which is what initially drew me to the role. But being one of just two women on the team, I’d love to see more and more girls getting into advertising and our team! Oh and there’s Lolly, my mini collie and she’s a big part of the office life too.
What would be your top tip to someone who’s interviewing at Natives?
Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to show that you’re passionate about whatever that may be.
Okay, now for the quickfire round:
Thanks for sitting down with us, Ammie. If you think you've got what it takes to be a Native, check out our current vacancies here.